UNECE launches the CIRCULAR STEP platform for policy dialogue on circular economy

28. April 2022



Until today, there was no regional platform for policy dialogue tailored to the needs of the UNECE region (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), that can bring together developed and emerging economies in the circular economy transition and support the achievement of SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production.

To bridge this gap, UNECE has launched a new platform – CIRCULAR STEP – to facilitate exchanges of experience, share good practices and engage stakeholders in the circular economy transition. The platform will unite governments, the private sector, academic and research institutions, civil society and other actors from all 56 member states.

CIRCULAR STEP, the Stakeholder Engagement Platform, was launched at the Policy Dialogue on Institutional Arrangements for the Circular Economy and the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources which took place on 6 April 2022 during the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development. The event was held in connection with the four-year project funded by the United Nations Development Account (UNDA) Accelerating the Transition towards a Circular Economy in the UNECE region. This instrument enables UNECE to implement practical tools at national level in UNECE transition economies, contributing to the development of national gap analysis and roadmaps for the circular economy acceleration in priority sectors of the economy.

Strengthening cooperation among Member States is a core objective of UNECE and the UNDA Circular Economy project. CIRCULAR STEP will provide a platform for Member States and other stakeholders to share experiences and practical solutions that can benefit policymaking in the entire region.

CIRCULAR STEP aims to address three overall challenges hindering progress on the circular economy in the UNECE region:

1. Low visibility of the specific features of transition economies in the overall circular economy policy debate.

  • E.g., Lack of information about circular economy initiatives, their relationship to other policy areas, and institutional arrangements in transition economies.

2. Lack of capacity in transition economies to design and implement effective circularity policies

  • E.g., Limited access by policymakers from transition economies to information about circular good practices, solutions and policy frameworks.

3. Significant investment and financing gaps in transition economies for the circular economy transition.

  • E.g., Limited awareness of potential investors and financiers about circular economy needs and potential in transition economies.


CIRCULAR STEP will assist transition economies to meet these and other challenges, with a focus on the wide range of economic issues addressed by UNECE (e.g., trade, innovative public procurement, waste management, small and medium enterprises, traceability of value chains, institutional arrangements, financing and digital solutions in the circular economy transition).

Membership of CIRCULAR STEP is free of charge for all stakeholders. Please send your request to join the platform to ece-trade4circularity@un.org. Alternatively, you can send an official letter signed by the management of your organisation.